Nirvana's Bassist: I Don't Understand Having ISPs Regulate Copyright Files, But I Support Bono's Position Anyway

from the speaking-from-ignorance...-and-admitting-it dept

It's one thing to speak from a position of ignorance, but admitting it and still then taking a strong position? That's something special. U2's Bono kicked off quite a firestorm by insisting that having ISPs monitor everything was a good way to deal with unauthorized file sharing online, citing China's success with internet censorship (failing to realized that it hasn't been that successful in reality). This resulted in widespread criticism of Bono and it appears that Nirvana's bass player, Krist Novoselic, has stepped up to defend Bono (found via Karl Bode). But what's stunning about Novoselic's "defense" is that he flat out admits he doesn't really understand the details and still defends Bono:
I'll admit that I'm not up to speed on having ISPs regulate copyrighted material, but here's why I agree with Bono on the idea of compensation for content providers
So he doesn't understand the issue, but he supports Bono's position anyway? Yeah, that's reasonable. And the worst part is the end of that sentence. It implies that some people out there don't support compensation of content providers. That's silly. Everyone supports the compensation of content providers -- they just don't support that compensation coming from some sort of involuntary tax put on internet connections. Assuming that being against ISP tracking and payments means that there's no other way for content providers to get paid is simply wrong.

The rest of his post is interesting, but either pulls out some old canards or is self-contradictory. For example, he confuses "value" with "price" by warning that music can't be worth nothing. Yet, at the same time, he goes on and on about how great things like YouTube and Twitter are for promoting his music -- while also wishing they would pay him for promoting his music. He never seems to put two and two together to realize that by promoting music and bands, a fan base is built up that helps an artist make more money -- and YouTube and Twitter are doing this for free. Prior to the internet becoming mainstream, if a musician wanted to communicate with fans, it was an expensive and time consuming direct mail process. Now Twitter has made that free for bands. Before, if a band wanted to get fans to see its videos, it had to hope it could get them on MTV. Even after the internet came about, communicating with fans was still expensive and time consuming, as was posting videos. Twitter and YouTube have made these things much easier, faster and cheaper for bands. And he's complaining?

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  1. icon
    Henry Emrich (profile), 7 Jan 2010 @ 2:35am

    Several different issues:

    1. Why exactly is Novoselic thinking exclusively in terms of "financial" compensation, here? The fact is, whether Youtube explicitly "pays" him (or anyone, for that matter), they are being "compensated" by way of free -- gratis -- access to the platform itself. It's extremely short-sighted of him not to understand that fact.

    For example: I know that if people come here to read Mike's posts, they're at least somewhat likely to see my comments. "Anti-Mike" knows exactly the same thing. So does "Sam I Am". We *all* know that one of the biggest ways to both get *our* viewpoints out there AND possibly impact the prevaling worldview in regard to stuff like copyright, the public domain, corporate influence in the political process, etc. -- is by commenting here, discussing stuff with with one another, suggesting stories, etc.

    Same goes for *all* bloggers -- at least half of the "brand-identity" (and resulting "value") comes from the audience/fans. Does this mean that Mike -- or any other blogger -- should "compensate" those who comment on his blog/suggest stories, etc. by PAYING us?

    The *real* question is whether Krist agrees with Bono's notion that ISP's should be compelled to spy on their own users, simply so already-wealthy corporate-owned "celebrities" can squeeze a few dollars more.

    Anti-Mike tries to defend itself, by stating:

    "
    As for my posts, I find that there is much of what Mike posts that is sensationalized or twisted to meet an agenda or belief set that he works from. More often than not, there is missing facts, overlooked angles, and outright misrepresentation of "facts" by only highlighting certain things and ignoring other things that would go against the premise. A lot of people do it, even the mainstream media is guilty sometimes of giving a 30,000 foot view because a closer look might screw up a good story."

    Gee, like, say, how *you* consistently ignore the history and original purpose of copyright law? How you relentlessly defend the corporate-owned status quo? No thanks. Your "agenda" isn't about "taking a closer look", and you know it. Your agenda isn't about "injecting balance", either. Your agenda is -- and always has been -- defending whatever Mike happens to dislike, and misunderstanding whatever Mike is trying to say.

    "I also tend to object to bootstrapping and posts that can lead people to think that opinions are facts. I tend to point that out, because it often changes the way things play out. DRM tax, anyone?"

    What, like major-label "artists" opinion that they *deserve* to be paid for any and all uses of "their" content, such that there's effectively no such thing as "fair use?
    Like the specious "opinion" expressed by corporate shills that there is a 1 to 1 relationship between "illegal" downloads and lost sales? Or maybe you mean the "opinion" expressed by many anti-p2p/IP-apologist trolls, that copyright skepticism is simply about "not wanting to pay for stuff."

    Get over yourself, anti-mike. As I told Jon Newton back when he became BFF's with Billy Bragg and Lily Allen over on A2f2a: the corporate media oligarchs don't NEED -- or DESERVE -- help in what they're trying to do. THEIR "agenda" is blindingly obvious, simply because the keep having copyright terms extended, and disruptive technologies banned. Sorry if realizing that "screws up a good story" about "poor, hardworking artists getting screwed by evil pirates."

    And the fact is, advocating police-state tactics JUST to preserve what was only originally intended to be an extremely short-lived commercial monopoly privilege is INDEFENSIBLE.

    Get that through your thick skulls, stop apologizing for draconian bullshit, or at LEAST acknowledge that existing IP law is *drastically* out of control, instead of actively advocating that it be made worse.

    Then maybe some of us will stop thinking you're a troll.

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